Head of suspended bank jumps to his death

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Head of suspended bank jumps to his death

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Prosecutors yesterday bring out boxes of seized documents after they raided the headquarters of Jeil II Savings Bank in central Seoul. The president of the bank jumped to his death while prosecutors were searching inside. [NEWSIS]


The president of a suspended savings bank threw himself off his headquarters in central Seoul yesterday in an apparent suicide while prosecutors were inside confiscating possible evidence for their investigation.

Jeong Gu-haeng, 50, was found lying face down at around 12:05 p.m. in front of the headquarters of Jeil II Savings Bank in Changsin-dong, central Seoul, police said yesterday.

“A local police officer patrolling near the bank heard a sound of something hit the ground and found Jeong dead,” a police official said. “We are investigating the exact reason for his death.”

According to police, prosecutors yesterday raided the bank at around 10 a.m., and Jeong told them he “would sincerely cooperate” with their investigation. While prosecutors were confiscating possible evidence, Jeong waited in his office with the bank’s executive directors.

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At around noon, just about five minutes before he died, he told the directors that he would “take responsibility for everything.” He proceeded out of the office and was not seen again until he was discovered dead.

“A hand-written memo [to the executive directors] was found that read, ‘Please take care of everything afterward. I wrote some notes. Please read them,’” Gwon Ik-hwan, the senior prosecutor leading the investigation into the suspended banks, told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday. “We also found some of his notes in which he apologizes for the recent suspension to customers and worries if Jeil II Savings Bank could be sold.”

Jeil II Savings Bank was one of seven insolvent savings banks suspended for six months on Sunday by the Financial Services Commission. Roughly 80 prosecutors and investigators teamed up on Thursday to launch an investigation over allegations that the banks gave illegal loans to large-scale construction projects, sparking their suspension.

On the first day of the investigation, prosecutors raided the homes of high-ranking officials who may have been involved in giving illegal loans and the headquarters of the seven banks, confiscating computer hard disks, account books and transaction records. They also banned overseas travel for some bank officials.

In May, five officials of Jeil I Savings Bank, the parent company of Jeil II Savings Bank, were accused of giving illegal loans, leading to a massive bank run. Jeil I Savings Bank was also suspended on Sunday, and its president was planning to sell Jeil II Savings Bank to prevent insolvency.

Industry observers said that Jeong would have felt enormous stress from his bank’s suspension and the prosecutors’ investigation. “We guess that he couldn’t bear the burden,” a bank official said yesterday.

A prosecutor told reporters yesterday, “I feel about for his death. Jeong was positive in cooperating with them.” Gwon said, “We will still calmly go ahead as planned. We are planning to investigate the other six banks as scheduled.”


By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joonang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

정구행 행장 “죗값 제가 … ” 압수수색 중 투신자살

합동수사단, 영업정지 저축은행 7곳 전격 수색

저축은행 비리 합동수사단(합수단)이 23일 오전 7개 영업정지 저축은행에 대해 전격 압수수색을 실시했다. 이날 압수수색 도중 제일2상호저축은행 정구행(50) 행장이 본점 옥상에서 뛰어내려 스스로 목숨을 끊었다.

 검찰과 금융감독원, 예금보험공사, 경찰청, 국세청 등 5개 기관으로 구성된 합수단은 출범 하루 만에 7개 저축은행에 대한 동시 압수수색과 함께 본격 수사에 들어갔다. 이날 압수수색은 토마토, 제일, 제일2, 프라임, 대영, 파랑새 등 영업정지 된 7개 저축은행 본점과 해당 은행 경영진·대주주 주거지 등에서 진행됐다. 합수단은 오전 10시 이들 은행에 소속 검사와 수사관들을 투입해 회계장부와 전표, 컴퓨터 하드디스크 등을 확보했다. 합수단은 압수물 분석을 통해 불법·부실대출, 대주주 비리 등에 대한 증거를 확보한 뒤 범죄 혐의가 있는 경영진과 대주주를 소환 조사할 방침이다.

 이날 낮 12시쯤 압수수색이 진행되고 있던 서울 창신동 제일2저축은행 본점 앞길에 이 은행 정구행 행장이 엎드린 채 숨져 있는 것을 순찰 중이던 경찰관이 발견했다. 정 행장은 이날 오전 임원들과 대책회의를 하고 “압수수색에 잘 협조하라”고 말한 뒤 3층 행장실에서 혼자 있다가 잠시 후 6층 옥상에서 뛰어내린 것으로 알려졌다. 그는 행장실에서 마지막으로 목격됐으며 당시 검찰은 2층을 압수수색 중이었다고 경찰은 전했다. 그는 투신 직전 한 이사에게 “저희도 후순위채 5000만원 초과 예금 고객이 있다. 관계기관의 협조와 관심을 부탁드린다. 죗값은 제가 받겠다”고 자필로 쓴 편지지를 건넨 것으로 조사됐다.

 권익환 합수단장은 “대단히 안타깝게 생각한다. 압수수색 협조는 잘 이뤄졌고 마찰도 없었던 것으로 알고 있다”고 말했다. 권 단장은 “정 행장은 피고발인이 아니었고 자택도 압수수색 대상이 아니었으나 영업정지와 압수수색 등 검찰 수사에 부담을 느낀 것 같다”며 “경찰에서 사망 경위를 철저히 조사할 것”이라고 덧붙였다.

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